Last post’s Z32 had us thinking about the great 90’s Japanese Super cars and how quickly they disappeared from the U.S. shores. The first on the chopping block was the FD RX-7 as the last few were imported for the 1995 calendar year, quickly followed by the 300zx in 96 and Toyota Supra in 1998. With only the NSX which was made in extremely limited numbers and was out of reach for most “normal” car guys due to the skyrocketing price, there was only one Japanese super car that still embraced the Twin Turbo philosophy, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4.
The 3000GT, much like the 300zx and Supra, also came in non-turbo variants, but it was the 320hp, Twin-Turbo V6 version dubbed the VR-4 (GTO in Japanese markets) that hurt feelings on the streets. The VR-4 separated itself from the other Japanese warriors by boasting an AWD platform unlike the other FR and MR cars, four wheel steering, electronic suspension and was more of a freeway Grand Touring car than it’s polar opposite, the FD RX-7 with it’s minimal yet spartan interiors. It was a car you could cruise around town while comfortably enjoying the company of whoever rode shotgun.
Although the 3S went through many changes as the years went by, it was the year 1999 where the car would go through it’s last and final aesthetic refresh with it’s redesigned front bumper, headlights, turn signals, and that one-of-a-kind spoiler. That spoiler was the sign on the exterior that let other drivers know that this 3S was not to be messed with. We recently met a VR-4 owner by the name of Josh that made it out to a few of our Coffee and Rice meets and all of the guys immediately recognized this rare beauty. With the Dodge Stealth version dying in 1996, the last few 3000GT VR-4’s were hard to come by as production dwindled down to match sales numbers. In 1999, around 287 models were made and sold. Of that, we have one pristine example in all of it’s 1999 glory here in front of us, unmolested, and completely intact. If you’d like to see more of this car (and MANY more cars), you know where we are every Sunday.